Blogging live from ICSC: Footloose

Rebekah Carlson

Rebekah Carlson

Brokers and officials from commercial real estate firm Next Realty, which operates a busy office in Chicago, are in Las Vegas this week to attend the International Council of Shopping Centers’ RECon, the biggest convention serving the brokers, developers and managers who build, operate and lease space at shopping centers across the globe.

Next Realty’s Eteri Zaslavsky, who in 2012 led the raise of Next Realty Fund VII, a private equity fund targeting retail and parking investment opportunities, and Rebekah Carlson, director of marketing at the company, are blogging from the convention this week for REJournals.com.

Footloose, by Rebekah Carlson

Taking a break after starting the day with a meeting with my favorite Cushman affiliates and then a meeting with the Village of Montgomery, Ill., to hear about what’s going on there.

Eteri and I came up with a few ICSC-inspired reasons why the skills needed to make it in retail real estate correlate with the characteristics of a successful dance campaign in Elmore City, Ala.  (Footloose is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, by the way).

Here’s what we’ve learned about what it takes to be successful today…

1) You have to step outside the norm.  New perspectives foster creativity and innovation.
2) Challenge your assumptions, and those of others.  From site selection to merchandising to forecasting, every analysis should validate and/or challenge preconceptions.
3) Fight through the hard times to get what you want. We’ve survived the downturn – now capitalize on that grit and give it all you’ve got.
4) Question the status quo.  Does it have to stay the same? Really?
5) Persevere.  Keep your head down and get your work done!
6) Be present.  We have connected and reconnected with countless people at the show, and cannot recommend enough that relationships matter.

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